Testing Tips by Question Type

person holding a pencil and filling in a multiple choice scantron sheet


Do you know what type of test questions are on your upcoming exam? Check out these tips to help you feel more confident in approaching each question with the best of your ability.


True-False Questions

  • For the statement to be marked as True, ALL of the statement needs to be correct. Read through the question carefully and if anything seems incorrect, it should be marked as False.
  • Watch for specific words that suggest extremes or don’t allow for exceptions or errors. Words like everyone, no one, never, and always could help you decide if it is False or not.
  • Look out for double negatives. When you see them, cross it out and read what is left to help make it less confusing to determine if True or False.


  • Essays are often more subjective, meaning the answer given is open to interpretation and the judgement of your instructor grading. Be sure to read the directions carefully and look for key words in the instructions that can help guide your answer (e.g. compare A to B, explain these steps in order, or share why you think XYZ occurred). You can also ask the instructor ahead of time what they may be looking for in a good essay response when reviewing for the test.
  • When you know what you are going to write about, take a minute before you start to outline your essay with main ideas and key points you want to make. This helps you make sure you answer the question fully and don’t miss a crucial piece of what you wanted to talk about.
  • Work to avoid common mistakes in your writing. Before you turn it in, take a minute to proofread and check for simple grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and punctuation that you can quickly correct.

Multiple Choice

  • Unless you are 100% certain, it is recommended not to change any answers if you second guess yourself. Unless you can prove your first answer is wrong trust your initial response!
  • As long as you won’t be penalized, try not to leave any questions blank. Even if you have to guess, that gives you a chance to get possible points that you otherwise miss out on.


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Kirkwood Community College Academic Coaching Resources Copyright © by Myranda Hadley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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